On the third and final day of InfoSecurity Europe 2022, Ian Hill, director of cyber security at BGL Insurance, hosted a roundtable discussion on disinformation warfare, exploring the relationship between the subjective truth and objective facts in the context of fake news. The role that psychology, social media and culture play in contextualizing and interpreting information was discussed, as well as the increased need for AI-based cybersecurity techniques and technology to detect and mitigate such risks.
Hill commenced the discussion by telling the room that we’re living in a content-heavy world, and the combination of social media and email means we have to navigate through an information-dense digital space unprecedented in human history. A number of case studies was used by Hill to illuminate the significant issue of disinformation and how it’s increasingly challenging to decipher fact from fiction, particularly with the advent of deep fakes and fake news.
One such case study was the recent UK “fuel shortage,” with Hill stating that there was, in fact, no petrol shortage, and the overwhelming demand for petrol was caused by social media and disinformation, further emphasizing the real-world consequences that fake news can have. Hill then presented a framework for “information pollution,” which categorized the different types of disinformation into three subgroups: misinformation, disinformation and mal-information.
Misinformation relates to false information that is not intended to cause harm; disinformation is considered to be false information that intends to manipulate and cause damage to individuals or organizations; and mal-information has substantial “malicious intent”